Is he thinking about something or is his mind resting?

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Sunflo - I love your computer hard drive analogy!
My MIL (88) does this too. Sometimes she mutters softly under her breath like she's carrying on a conversation with someone in her head. Sometimes she doesn't seem to be thinking anything at all; other times thoughts seem to flit around in her mind like a bumblebee going from flower to flower to flower...
Hard to say where they go, but I like to think (hope) it's somewhere nice....and far from the despair of dementia.
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My mom does this and she is 90. It just takes them longer to process a conversation or thought. My mom zones out and it is frustrating and scary at times but I've learned to just go with it and give her the time she needs. That can sometimes mean redirecting her or repeating the conversation.

Sometimes I ask what. She is thinking and it might be nothing or she drifts into a past thought or fantasy.

I think of some elder brains as a computer hard drive. And eventually it goes into "safe mode" where only survival mode is functioning. The only thing going on is the essentials to keep the body going.

My mom is more alert at certain times of the day, so that is when I try to call or visit. I think she spends increasing amount of time just daydreaming and as long as she is happy and not agitated or unhappy, I don't have a problem with it. She doesn't appear bothered by it and it passes the time for her I figure.
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